Mary Stuart

Duke of Yorks Theatre

Mary Stuart

13 Jan 2018 - 31 Mar 2018

Pro reviewers rating
21 reviews

4.2 out of 5.0
Peer reviewers rating
1 reviews

5.0 out of 5.0

Two queens. One in power. One in prison.
It’s all in the execution.

Schiller’s political tragedy takes us behind the scenes of some of British history's most crucial days.

Lia Williams and Juliet Stevenson will play both Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, decided each night by the toss of a coin.

The Almeida's hit transfers to the West End with both its leads. (Some reviews from the Almeida)


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“Ferociously good... Genuinely moving... Rich, multilayered, and deeply human... Williams and Stevenson deliver.”

Andrzej Lukowski (Time Out)

“Explosive... Icke’s adaptation is sculptural, rich and incisive... Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams are mighty... Electrifying.”

Susannah Clapp (The Observer)

“Chilling, thrilling production with two fine, fierce actors alternating in the leads... Pulses with contemporary nuance.”

Mark Shenton (The Stage, London Theatre, Express)

“Riveting... stunning... supremely sexy and intelligent... modern and timeless: muscular, lucid and thrumming with moral power.”

Caroline McGinn (Time Out)

“Fluid and thrilling... Both, clad identically in simple white shirt and black velvet trousers, are outstanding... Hurtling drama”

Fiona Mountford (Evening Standard)

“Taut, grippingly urgent... an arresting political thriller, full of multiple betrayals and turns of conscience... Unmissable.”

Mark Shenton (The Stage, London Theatre, Express)

“It's a striking view and in Icke's own translation of Schiller's original, beautifully carried through... Gripping stuff.”

Sarah Crompton (What's On Stage, Guardian)

“Daring take on Schiller’s great verse tragedy... A disturbingly topical exploration of the haphazardness of politics.”

Henry Hitchings (Evening Standard)

“Nerve-shreddingly intense... Dense, gripping... Savagely elegant... The politics of the past startlingly reflect the present.”

Sam Marlowe (The Times, The Stage, Time Out, Arts Desk)

“Extraordinarily gripping, edge-of-your-seat version of Schiller's great play... Stevenson and Williams are exceptional.”

Paul Taylor (The Independent)

“Would be unbearably dull were it not for the superb performances from both actresses and the ensemble around them.”

Other newspaper reviewers

“Daring take on Schiller’s great verse tragedy... emphasises that the characters really are two sides of one coin... Topical.”

Henry Hitchings (Evening Standard)

“When the two queens meet, claws very much extended, it becomes electric.... Crackles with energy and intensity.”

Ann Treneman (Times)

“A brilliant, bold start... Riveting... The fine ensemble shows how everyone walks a knife edge... Sad, gripping.”

Sarah Hemming (Financial Times)

“Complex, intricate... remains exceedingly resonant... Emphasises the performative qualities of monarchy and of femininity. ”

Marianka Swain (Broadway World, Arts Desk)

“Beautifully filleted... [A] brilliantly adapted, directed and acted version of one of the best plays ever written. ”

Daisy Bowie-Sell (What's On Stage, Time Out, Telegraph)

“So brilliantly does he dramatise the fanciful face-to-face encounter between the two women that a poetic truth emerges.”

Arts Desk (other reviewers)

“This intellectually heavyweight evening... looks, sounds and feels better in its new home”

Dominic Cavendish (The Telegraph)

“Icke’s text is rather wonderful, unobtrusively poetic but with iambic thrust and energy which drives and heightens... Exciting.”

Libby Purves (TheatreCat, Times)

“The conceit is a canny one... Icke brings the innate symmetries in Schiller’s liberty-taking version of events to the fore.”

Dominic Cavendish (The Telegraph)

“Stevenson and Williams memorably confirm that Elizabeth and Mary are two sides of the same regal coin.”

Michael Billington (The Guardian)

Reviews (0)